Effective Marketing for Scaling Up Financial Services to Youth: Innovations in Youth Financial Services
The provision of financial services appropriate for youth is a critical issue of increasing importance. There were approximately 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 in the world in 2010—numbers that are only expected to increase in the next decade, especially in least developed countries.1 Conversely, the number of youth with access to quality financial services is extremely low—estimated to be as low as 10 percent.2 The benefits of providing financial services (including complementary services, such as financial education and skills training) to young people at an early age have been well documented. However, effective strategies to scale up financial services to youth have not yet been adequately explored by industry practitioners.
Scaling up is an active and deliberate process that begins at the product development phase. Organizations looking to scale up should consider effective strategies that can be utilized to achieve scale. One strategy that has proven effective for two partners of The SEEP Network’s Innovations in Youth Financial Services Practitioner Learning Program (PLP) has been specialized marketing targeted to youth.
Although there are many similarities between marketing to youth and adults, there are also some key differences that should be explored in order to maximize the impact of scaling up. The types of products offered, how products are packaged, and how this information reaches youth clients can all be unique to the youth market segment. Organizations marketing to youth must not only promote specific financial products, they must also market themselves in transparent and engaging ways to separate themselves from the competition.